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New App Store rule streamlines app account deletion

Apple on Wednesday informed developers that it will soon begin to enforce a new App Store rule that requires titles with account creation tools to also offer in-app deletion options.

Detailed in an update to Apple's developer website, App Store Guideline 5.1.1 mandates that apps with account creation capabilities must also provide users an option to delete said account within the app.

"If your app doesn't include significant account-based features, let people use it without a login. If your app supports account creation, you must also offer account deletion within the app," the guideline reads.

The new rule should cut down on burdensome account deletion features that in some cases are designed to retain user information. Certain apps require account holders to fill out a request form on an external website or contact a customer service representative.

Apple urges developers to review pertinent laws that might require preservation of certain types of data. As usual, the company tells app makers to clearly explain what kind of information apps collect, how they collect it, how it is used and how it is stored. Other data-related practices are explained in the App Store guideline.

The iPhone maker introduced Guideline 5.1.1 at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June and the rule is scheduled to go into effect on Jan. 31, 2022.

Along with the account deletion policy, Apple in a separate developer update on Wednesday explained that the App Store's new "report a problem" button is designed to combat fraud. Introduced on Monday, the option allows iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS Monterey users to report issues with downloaded apps. The feature is available in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the U.S., and will roll out to more regions soon.